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Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

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Statement: March 20, 2008 Print this page
Docket Nos. CP06-54-000, CP06-55-000 and CP06-56-000

Commissioner Moeller's statement on Broadwater Energy, LLC

"I recognize that our decision will upset the citizens, civic groups, and government leaders who are opposed to the Broadwater LNG project. Throughout this review process, I have considered the applicant's proposal from an objective standpoint, without passion, prejudice, or emotion. As such, my vote to permit the construction of this needed energy infrastructure project is based on the law, but also on the facts, environmental studies, and reports that have been submitted into the record.

Residents living on both shores of the Long Island Sound are concerned with the development of a floating LNG platform. Their suspicions are understandable, as the very concept of installing a 1,215-foot long barge in the middle of this scenic estuary is foreign. However, the public should recognize that I carefully considered and evaluated the concerns raised before making the decision to vote for the authorizations to construct and operate these facilities. To those who have not already done so, I would encourage interested persons to review the Commission's Final Environmental Impact Statement that was issued earlier this year. This substantial document thoroughly considered the relevant environmental, scientific, economic, and safety factors associated with this project. Additionally, the Commission's authorization to construct the LNG terminal (and the related pipeline facilities) is not unfettered, as we impose dozens of conditions and compliance measures that Broadwater must meet prior to construction and operation. These requirements help address and seek to eliminate or minimize adverse effects and foreseeable risks to the extent possible.

As many residents of this region are familiar, particularly those on Long Island, the Shoreham Nuclear Power Plant is an unforgettable reminder of how a power project that had great promise ended up failing at significant cost to the ratepayers. This sensitivity is not lost on me. However, we must move forward and recognize that we are at a crossroad where the region's energy future is uncertain without additional infrastructure and fuel sources. The need for new natural gas supplies to satisfy New York and Connecticut's growing appetite for energy is real, as there are projections that the demand for natural gas in this metropolitan area is growing at a rate of 2.7% per year (and an astonishing 8% on Long Island). It should also be noted that New York and Connecticut have almost no natural gas production of their own and must rely on imports to satisfy their needs. Weighing these considerations, I believe that the region's need for the natural gas supplies that the Broadwater LNG project can deliver has been demonstrated.

Unlike Shoreham, Broadwater has the potential to become a success story for this region. One only need look at the new wind turbines that have risen in the shadow of the defunct nuclear plant, as well as other successful energy infrastructure projects in the area (e.g., the Cross Sound Cable and the Neptune Line), to recognize that the addition of new energy projects can succeed by delivering the benefits of a greater diversity of supply, increased reliability, and hopefully lower costs to ratepayers and the public. Ultimately, I find that the Broadwater proposal satisfies the legal, regulatory, environmental, and safety criteria as set forth in the Natural Gas Act and the Commission's regulations, and I support today's decision in furtherance of the public's convenience and necessity. "
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